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Australian Gourmet Traveller Middle-Eastern vegetarian recipe for falafel

By Rodney Dunn
  • Serves 12

You'll need to begin this recipe the day before.

The wonderful nutty flavour of chickpeas has made them popular from India to Italy, France, Spain and the Middle East. This is one of the most versatile pulses - used in soups, braises, purées and dips, salads, ground into flour, fried for snacks, or as an accompaniment in their own right with meats. Roman vendors sold roasted chickpeas at theatrical performances, much the same as popcorn is sold today. In her Cook's Companion, Stephanie Alexander recommends cooling chickpeas in their cooking water to allow them to swell a little as they cool. This creates a beautiful fluffy texture without overcooking, as the texture can be a little gritty if drained straight from the cooking liquid.


  • 210 gm dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight (1 cup)
  • 2 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves (loosely packed)
  • 1 onion, finely grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • For deep frying: vegetable oil
  • To serve: pickled chillies (see note)
  • To serve: pickled turnip
Tahini sauce
  • 3 tsp tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 280 gm plain yoghurt (1 cup)


  • 1
    Drain chickpeas and place in a food processor with parsley and process until smooth. Add onion, garlic, spices, baking powder and a pinch of sea salt and process until combined. Place mixture in a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • 2
    Using wet hands, roll mixture into 1½ tablespoonful balls. Heat oil in a large, deep saucepan or deep-fryer to 180C, deep-fry in batches for 3-4 minutes or until light brown. Drain on absorbent paper and repeat with remaining falafel.
  • 3
    For tahini sauce, combine tahini, garlic and yoghurt in a small bowl, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • 4
    Serve falafel with pickles and Lebanese bread, drizzled with tahini sauce.


Note Pickled chillies and turnips are available from Middle Eastern grocery stores.